Those of you that have read my blog in the past know that my football watching primarily revolves around the two Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona. But if you’ve read my post prior to this one you’ll know that I decided to watch more Bundesliga matches this season. I had seen a few Dortmund games at the end of last season and knew that I liked their football. They were fast, attacking, tenacious, and exciting. As I’ve heard many others put it quite simply… “They are fun to watch.” But now, after a full season of watching, I realize that I don’t just “like” to watch their football but rather I’ve fallen in LOVE with this team. Why? Here’s what I’ve been able to put into words…
I LOVE THE COACH: Jürgen Klopp is the coach of Borussia Dortmund. I won’t give any info or background on him but what I will do is show you how much he loves this team. He is one of the most expressive coaches I’ve ever witnessed on a sideline. He cannot, and does not contain himself when something brings him joy. And this team, and their amazing quality, bring him lots and lots of joy. I believe I reblog more pictures of him on tumblr than I do of anyone else on the team simply because I cannot look at a picture of him and not laugh, smile, or feel a familial tug on my heart. Oh, and he’s a hugger. BIG TIME. So much so, that sometimes it actually leaves you feeling a little bit awkward.
I LOVE THE FANS: When I see images of the home crowd, and even when they are playing away, I just am in AWE. I don’t know how to describe it… The multitudes of people, the flags, the chants and jumping… everything about it screams love and affection for their team. Sometimes when I see pictures, my breath is literally taken away. I feel a pit in my stomach… almost like what you’d experience looking into The Grand Canyon. I know that sounds extreme, but that’s the feeling I get. The enthusiasm of the crowd, albeit probably motivated by lots and lots of beer, is just captivating to me. It makes me want to be there and take part even though it looks terrifying as all hell. Their home crowd has the best average attendance in all of Europe, and the stadium has a capacity of over 80,000. And, from what I’ve seen in my very limited experience, they support this team through hell and high water. They stick around until well after the final whistle, and celebrate or support the boys depending on the outcome. One of my bucket list items is to watch a match, in this stadium, preferably in the South Stands. I may be a little old lady by the time I get a chance, but I’m gonna do it.
I LOVE THE TEAM: Ok, I know everyone “loves” their team. But there’s something different about this one that I like. And after contemplating what that was, I think I know what it is. In my very novice opinion, I believe it’s the fact that there is not one single, star player that outshines all other players. But rather, each is as good as the next, but when they connect with one another, as a whole they’re a star. Certainly Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowsi and Mats Hummels are names that make the headlines, and they are excellent footballers that perform very well on a regular basis. But I think if you watch several of their matches you’ll see that it’s the function of others and the unit as a whole that brings them success. Not the brilliance of one in particular. And then, beyond this observation, is the fact that I simply believe they are having fun out there. They’re a bunch of boys playing on the playground at recess. They’re almost always happy (maybe that’s because they’re almost always winning, I dunno…) and often silly after a win. I don’t know if it’s a Dortmund “thing” or a Bundesliga thing, but one of my favorite things they do is go out to their fans after a match and thank them by locking arms and jumping and dancing around like crazy people. And sometimes they apparently feel compelled to do something called “the caterpillar”. It’s ridiculous and hilarious, but I absolutely love the humbleness it exudes. And ultimately, that’s the impression they leave with their fans. A humble gratitude for their affections.
And finally, a video of the celebrations at the end of the season, after Dortmund clinched their league title. You’ll see the love… of the coach, of the fans, and of the team on display. Plus, I love beer. And so do they. Just one more reason to fall in love with this team. 🙂